Lamont Dozier, legendary Motown songwriter and producer, dies aged 81

Lamont Dozier
(Image credit: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Lamont Dozier, legendary Motown songwriter, has died at the age of 81. The news was confirmed by his son, Lamont Dozier Jr, on Instagram.

As one third of the Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting and production team, Dozier helped to create what became known as the ‘Motown sound’, crafting hits for the likes of Martha and The Vandellas, The Supremes, The Four Tops and the Isley Brothers.

Indeed, the trio’s discography reads like a Motown greatest hits tracklist: Where Did Our Love Go, Baby Love, This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You), You Can’t Hurry Love, Reach Out I’ll Be There, Nowhere To Run and many more.

Working with Brian Holland, Dozier’s main focus was on musical arrangements and production, with Eddie Holland primarily concerned with lyrics and vocal production.

Dozier also released several solo albums, and hit the top of the charts again when he co-wrote the Motown-inspired Two Hearts with Phil Collins in 1988.

In the interview below, which dates from 2018, Dozier sits at the piano and talks through some of his biggest hits, including Heat Wave (Martha & The Vandellas), I Hear A Symphony (The Supremes), Bernadette (The Four Tops) and How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) (Marvin Gaye). 

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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